2022 Haunted by her past, a talented singer with a rising career copes with the pressure of success, a mother’s disdain and the voices of doubt within her. Qala क़ला
It was released on Netflix on 1 December 2022. The film received positive reviews from critics and audience, who praised the performances (especially Dimri’s), direction, writing, visual style, cinematography and soundtrack.
Vega movies review: Set in 1940s Calcutta, Qala is about the tumultuous relationship between an aspiring singer and her domineering mother. The movie begins with Qala Manjushree who has just won the “Golden Vinyl”. She is being interviewed by several journalists who mention her brother. Distraught, Qala replies that she has no brother. In a flashback, her mother(Urmila) who was pregnant with twins gives birth to Qala, but her brother does not survive. Urmila attempts to smother Qala. Urmila teaches Qala the art of music but warns her against being a courtesan. In the present, Qala is haunted by visions of her brother who accuses her of taking what is rightfully his. A doctor advises Qala to rest. In another flashback, Qala is being taught music to perform in 3 days but Urmila chides her and accuses her of not working hard enough. Urmila locks Qala out in the freezing snow. At the performance, few people show up and Qala is upstaged by an orphan, Jagan. Urmila takes a liking to Jagan’s music and brings him home to live with her. Qala is jealous of Jagan. In the present, a renowned singer – Sanyal dies. In another flashback, her mother seduces Sanyal to obtain a chance for Jagan to sing with him. To further Jagan’s career, Urmila attempts to marry Qala off but Qala declines. Urmila hosts a party and invites several influential people. At the party, Qala feels invisible but is noticed by Sanyal, whom she kisses. Unfortunately, Jagan falls sick and cannot sing so Qala sings instead, impressing the guests. Jagan gets sicker to the point of being unable to sing but is cared for by Urmila. Qala seduces Sumant Kumar to obtain a chance at recording a song, taking Jagan’s place. That night Jagan talks to Qala one last time before he hangs himself in the forest. The next day, Qala discovers his body and hugs his corpse. Her mother is distraught and cradles Jagan in her hands. Urmila and Qala have a fight during which Qala calls Urmila a courtesan. Urmila forbids Qala from coming back to their house ever again. Qala leaves for Calcutta for her recording session. She is nervous and cannot sing even on the 11th take. She was forced to provide oral pleasure to Sumant, for a last chance. She recalls Jagan, who used to sing for himself. Taking his words into account, she successfully records the song. Anushka Sharma makes a cameo here as an actress. Qala slowly rises to fame as a singer. She becomes close with Majshoor, the songwriter who advises her to cease her arrangement with Sumant. While being interviewed by journalists again, she sees a vision of Jagan. While recording a song, she breaks down and sees snow falling all around her. Her mother hears her interview being broadcast over the radio. In a flashback, Qala drops a globule of mercury into Jagan’s milk before his performance, leading to his cough. Now, Qala attempts to kill herself by overdosing on sleeping pills. Her doctor calls her mother and informs her of Qala’s suicide attempt. Her mother comes to Calcutta and sees that Qala has hanged herself. Her mother tearfully listens to Qala’s vinyl which she had sent to her in Himachal Pradesh.